Property Rights

What's New

Initiative 933, the Property Fairness Initiative

September 20, 2006 in Publications

A growing trend of “property fairness” initiatives, proposals designed to increase protection for individual landowners from the rise in land-use regulation, has reached Washington state in the form of Initiative 933. The philosophy behind the initiative is similar to the thinking that underlies most environmental regulation.

Read the full Policy Note here

Legal Gun Ownership Saves Lives

May 17, 2006 in Publications

It’s an age-old story. A criminal shoots someone, and then politicians propose gun-control measures that would have done nothing to prevent the shooting. On March 26, Kyle Huff killed six people at a late-night party in Seattle. Seattle mayor Greg Nickels immediately called for more regulations on guns. None of his proposals would have prevented the tragedy.

Does Oregon's Property Rights Law Measure Up for Washington?

in Press releases

Seattle- Washington Policy Center released a new study today, "Oregon's Measure 37 Property Rights Law, Lessons from the First Eleven Months." Todd Myers, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy for WPC, evaluates the effects of Oregon's Measure 37 and provides a perspective on what Washington citizens might expect if a similar law were to pass in our state. The study is the first comprehensive look at the impact of the Measure in Oregon.

Oregon's Measure 37 Holds Real-World Lessons for Washington

July 18, 2005 in Publications

Last November, Oregon voters overwhelmingly passed Measure 37, a law requiring the state and counties either to pay landowners for lost property value when new zoning restrictions are imposed, or allow owners to operate under the rules in place when they bought the property. Supporters and opponents said Measure 37 would radically change the landscape of Oregon. The reality, however, is turning out to be less revolutionary than either side expected.

The Right to Private Property is a Civil Right

June 18, 2005 in Publications

Property owners are reeling from recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court relegated the right to own property to second-class status. However, the Court's actions are inconsistent with our Constitution and denigrate the role private ownership of property plays in our system of government.

King County's Critical Areas Package: A Heavy-Handed Approach to Growth Management

September 15, 2004 in Publications

In March 2004, King County Executive Ron Sims proposed a series of new ordinances that, if enacted, would become some of the most restrictive regulations on the use of private property in the United States. Loosely referred to as the Critical Areas Package (CAP), these proposals have already received nationwide attention and have become the subject of heated controversy between rural landowners on one hand and county government and environmentalists on the other.

Proposed King County Regulations Compromise Rural Landowners' Rights

in Press releases

A new Policy Note from Washington Policy Center, written by William R. Maurer and Russ Brooks, addresses the negative impact that proposed Growth Management rules would have on rural landowners' property rights in King County.

In March 2004, King County Executive Ron Sims proposed a series of new ordinances that, if enacted, would become some of the most restrictive regulations on the use of private property in the United States.

Property Tax Limitation in Washington State

August 14, 2003 in Publications

In recent years Washington voters have approved three popular measures to ease the growth of the property tax burden government places on citizens. Each measure set progressively more stringent limitations on how much state and local elected officials could increase the basic property tax each year. The relatively easy passage of these measures indicates public support for limiting property taxes increases has remained stable over time.

Smart Growth and Housing Affordability: Evidence from Washington State

April 13, 2003 in Publications

Growth management has come to the forefront of public-policy debate at the state and local level. Concerned about the effects of both population and economic growth on their environment, citizens and their elected officials are struggling for ways to identify and mitigate the problems associated with new homes and the demand for shopping malls and office development that inevitably follows. New building growth, which usually occurs on the urban periphery, has laid the political foundation for a growing movement to restrict and further control the pace and pattern of land development. Many growth-management advocates argue that state and local land-use planning should actively shape the built environment for local citizens through zoning and various forms of development control.